IEEE launches smart-grid standards project

Intel will host the first conference on standards in June

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers has launched a new project to create standards and interoperability for the so-called smart grid, an IT-driven upgrade of the electricity grid.

The organization has approved a project with the lengthy title, the IEEE 2030 Guide for Smart Grid Interoperability of Energy Technology and Information Technology Operation with the Electric Power System (EPS) and End-Use Applications and Loads (P2030).

Chip maker Intel will host the first meeting to discuss the smart-grid guide in Santa Clara, California, June 3 to 5. That meeting is open to people and organizations interested in contributing to the guide, IEEE said in a press release.

Through its open standards process, IEEE's goal for P2030 is to provide a knowledge base for defining smart-grid interoperability, including helping the electric power system work with end-use applications and devices, such as smart electricity meters, IEEE said.

"With its rich heritage and vast membership from a broad range of technology sectors, IEEE is uniquely positioned to enable power engineering, communications and information technology to coalesce," Chuck Adams, president of the IEEE Standards Association, said in a statement.

"This landmark initiative, which spans multiple diverse industries, will tap into the numerous ubiquitously deployed IEEE standards developed by a variety of expert groups. IEEE P2030 will define key elements of the modernized grid, and it will accelerate progress in making the smart grid a reality."

People pushing for the development of a smart grid, including U.S. President Barack Obama, say an updated electricity grid will allow utilities to better use alternative energy sources and more easily transmit electricity to areas that need it, and will allow customers to track their electricity use and save money.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Congress included US $4.5 billion for smart-grid projects in a huge economic stimulus package.

Interoperability has been one of the key concerns about building a smart grid in the U.S.

In-person registration for the June Intel event is already closed, but people can still register for remote attendance.

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